The Church in China Today
This week, we turn to the question of the Church in China today. Some surveys suggest that Christians make up four percent of the Chinese population, perhaps about 50-60 million believers (about three quarters of whom are Protestant and one quarter Catholic). Thus the population of Christian believers in China is greater than that of most European countries. The presence of Christianity in China reflects the significant legacy of Christian missions — both Protestant and Catholic — in the 19th and 20th centuries, but more importantly the resilience of Chinese believers themselves.
Meet the Faculty Host: Gabriel Said Reynolds
Gabriel Said Reynolds is the Crowley Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at Notre Dame and the Director of the World Religions and World Church (WRWC) program in the Department of Theology.
WRWC explores new ways of thinking about the study of world religions, global Catholicism, and the history of interactions between the Church and the religions of the world. This provides the intellectual foundations for engaging students with religions of the world from within a Christian theological paradigm. These foundations both enable the study of the world’s religions with specific attention to their own particular historical contexts and modes of theological discourse, and provide the necessary preparation for informed inter-religious dialogue.
Meet the Guest: Xueying Wang Ph.D. '14
Xueying Wang is a lecturer in the Department of Theology, Loyola University Chicago. Xueying came to the United States in 2007, to study classics and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame. She was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church on Easter 2008. Upon becoming Catholic, she changed the focus of her studies to Christian theology and earned a doctorate in historical theology in 2014. Her research is focused on Christianity in China and comparative religions. She is especially interested in studying the writings of Chinese Catholics during the Chinese Rites Controversy, whose voices had been largely ignored by modern scholarship.
Meet the Guest: Fr. Michael Agliardo, S.J.
Fr. Michael Agliardo, S.J., is a visiting research scholar in the Department of Sociology at Santa Clara University. His research focuses are environmental sociology, the sociology of religion, and the sociology of culture. He also has an area focus on China. While at SCU, he completed data collection for a five-country study of the reception of Laudato si’, the encyclical of Pope Francis that addresses environmental issues, social justice, and their intimate connection. He is working with colleagues to write up the results of his recent research, and he currently teaches Environmental Sociology. Agliardo also serves as executive director of the U.S.-China Catholic Association, a California-based nonprofit that works to build fraternal ties between Catholics in the U.S. and in the People’s Republic of China.
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